Strengths and strategic advantages of methods for the recording of indigenous knowledge (IK)

The following table highlights the specific strengths and strategic advantages of methods suitable for the recording of indigenous knowledge. 

The table has been adapted from Mathias 1995:23. For details of the different methods, see IIRR 1996. 

Research question Method especially suitable 
What are the practices? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Survey
Field observation
Transect
Mapping
Local histories
Seasonal pattern
Matrix
Webbing
Taxonomies
Venn diagram
Use of drawings
Sorting and ranking
Role play
Photo documentation
Participatory video
How are they done? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Field observation
Role play
Photo documentation
Participatory video
Why are they done? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Matrix
Webbing
Who is doing them or who knows about them? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Survey
Field observation
Role play
Photo documentation
Participatory video
Where are they done? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Survey
Field observation
Transect
Mapping
Photo documentation
Participatory video
When are they done? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Survey
Field observation
Local histories
Seasonal pattern
How often are they done? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Survey
How wide-spread is a specific practice in a community? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Survey
How effective is the practice? Informal interview
Key informant panel
Focus groups
Case studies
Participant observation
Sorting and ranking

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